Most people that come to us here at Enter Shaolin are wondering if training kung fu will improve their martial art. I think Bruce Lee said it best.
All knowledge leads to self-knowledge.Bruce Lee
While learning our Ngo Dac Na principles really ties things together. Without seeing, understanding, and feeling where we are coming from it’s hard to adapt Ngo Dac Principles to other martial arts. The fastest way to begin to integrate these principles into your “Personal Way” is to put aside what you already know (for now). After you learn what we are teaching you can then reintegrate it into what you do know.
The reason is that everything we do is through the lens of the styles we train in. This means besides the body mechanics also the verbiage we use may not be understood fully unless the practitioner is doing the same thing.
Training Kung Fu works best when you put what you already know aside for the time being and just focus on what is being taught to you.
Empty Your Cup Before You Start Training Kung Fu
I can’t even tell you how many times I have run into people who only ask questions to prove their own points. Unfortunately, the folks that do this usually end up missing the mark. You have probably heard some version of this story before. If you haven’t heard this story before it goes something like this.
There was a Zen teacher who was very knowledgeable once upon a time. People went great distances in order to seek his assistance. In exchange, he promised to educate them and illuminate the path to enlightenment for them.
On this particular day, a learned individual paid a visit to the master in order to seek guidance. The sage said, “I have come to ask you to teach me about Zen.” “I have come to ask you to teach me about Zen.”
It didn’t take long before it was clear that the scholar had a lot of his own thoughts and information to share. He continually diverted the attention of the master with his own anecdotes, and he showed little interest in hearing what the master had to say. The master advised in a collected manner that they should drink some tea.
Therefore, the host poured some wine for his visitor. Despite the fact that the cup was already full, he continued pouring into it until it poured into the table, then onto the floor, and ultimately onto the scholar’s robes. The learned man yelled out, “Stop! The contents of the cup are visible. What, you can’t see it?
The Zen master smiled and nodded his head as he said “exactly.” “You are like this cup; you already have so many thoughts that there is no longer room for any more.” Please bring me an empty cup when you see me again.”
Develop You Skills And Mindset
There is a huge difference between learning techniques and developing skills. At least the skills we talk about. When we talk about skills we are referring to things like wrist control, pressure control, and sensitivity. We aren’t directly referring to memorizing forms or techniques.
In order to increase your skill, you need to understand energy. More specifically how it relates to martial arts.
The one thing I have come across rather frequently is that some people who study martial arts start to identify with their chosen martial art. As such it’s hard for them to see outside of that their box.
In a lot of ways, it reminds me of the music community. While there are some musicians who embrace all forms of music, there are some musicians that are stuck in their genre. In order to be a well-rounded musician, it’s important to be exposed to all the different musical genres. By doing this, it helps the musician more freely express themselves when they are writing their own songs.
Training kung fu systems and other martial arts will expose you to many different “ways”. Ultimately this will lead you to “Your” way. Only then will you freely express yourself through martial arts.
We encourage folks to train in many different martial arts with many different teachers. In fact, if a teacher tells their students not to go seek other teachers, that could be a red flag that will ultimately stunt your ability to grow as a martial artist.
Learn Modeling To Improve Your Martial Art
The fastest way to learn anything is by modeling people who have what you want. It’s really that simple when you think about it.
Follow this 3 step formula:
- Step 1 – The hardest part is finding the right teachers and mentors. If you aren’t careful, picking the wrong teachers could mean all your efforts would be in vain. So this is the most important step. You want to get as close to the source of knowledge as you can. When you do find these people you want to absorb everything they have to teach.
- Step 2 – Step out of your comfort zone. It’s 2022, and the age of learning online is upon us. This may mean buying online courses, going to seminars, or taking private lessons. Deciding to uplevel your martial art training means going all in. By this I mean go all in or don’t do it at all. I can tell you though until you make a decision to actually go all in on your training, you will never reach your full potential.
- Step 3 – You don’t need to be a certified instructor to teach others. In fact, teaching others will help you develop your skill faster. Those of us who teach know that we learn something new every time we teach what we know to someone else. In actuality, we are always learning. (At least we should be).
Training Kung Fu Take Away
They say when the student is ready the teacher appears. You have come to the only place online where you can begin to understand how energy works with the body. Once you understand this timeless knowledge you can apply it to all aspects of your life. Including your favorite martial art style.
If you haven’t yet, make sure to get our Intro Course, that goes into greater detail about what we do here at Enter Shaolin
Ngo Dac Na was created by Sifu Phu Ngo to express the lessons he learned from his training with his grandfather & uncle as a child. It's a system of energy & physics principles that can be applied to any martial art style or any form of movement to make it more efficient & effective.